Searching for God Beyond Ourselves
I have to admit that I like daylight savings time. Pictures of snowy landscapes capture the feeling of winter much better. Winter is associated with snow and freezing temperatures and death is a real possibility if you find yourself stranded on a highway in the middle of a winter storm as in my home state of Montana. The changing of the seasons to being colder and getting dark much earlier can be disorienting, even here in California. There is a redeeming quality, however, to this darkness. I like to spend time looking at night sky. There is a sense of wonder in being able to experience the expanse and beauty of the cosmos. The darkness broken by the starlight captures the sense of this season. Cosmology is the story of birth, development, and destiny of the universe and it is told with the aim of assisting us in our task of identifying our roles within this great drama. A Belgian physicist and priest postulated that there was a beginning to the universe and this became known as the Big Bang. Scientists have been able to calculate the age of the universe with a fair amount of accuracy, 13.7 billion years. Because all life is part of this single cosmic event, all life is connected at its most basic level. Our solar system came about as the result of a supernova explosion, the death eruption of a primal star. Death is integral to life. Yet from the very beginning the trajectory of the universe has been toward life.
Epiphany is a time to reflect on the meaning of Incarnation, God here and with us now and make the journey ourselves. God emptied himself to become like us so that we might become more like God. This is our hope, to enter more fully into this relationship. The metaphor of the magi following a star, risking their survival and traveling a great distance to discover this is fitting. The idea of relationship is central. The wisdom of the Catholic tradition is that salvation is possible in and through the community. We say as Catholics that we are saved in community that includes everybody. This idea is not necessarily even something we long for.
I really believe that our experience of Epiphany must be more than just hearing about the Magi. We must be willing to encounter God in this season by risking our own journey, as difficult as it may be, so that we can honestly experience the selfrevelation that we need in order to see God beyond ourselves. Epiphany reminds us that the trajectory of creation is toward life. Epiphany is about searching for God beyond ourselves in order that we might enter more fully enter into the mystery of the Incarnation, God
here and with us now. We are called to be active participants in this great drama and search for what it means when we say that salvation is possible in and through the community. May your Epiphany be one of discovery.
Deacon Bob Fargo
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